Guide to Graduate Education in Science, Engineering and Public Policy
Guide to Graduate Education in Science, Engineering and Public Policy
Georgia Institute of Technology
The School of Public Policy was founded in 1991, focusing on technology-intensive public policy fields including science and technology policy, information and communication policy, environmental policy, and urban and regional economic development. Current students focus in one or more of these areas. The mission of the School is to conduct research on policy issues with significant scientific and technological content and to prepare students for jobs in government, non-profit organizations, consulting, and private sector firms concerned with public policy.
The Georgia Tech School of Public Policy is an interdisciplinary learning community exploring the policy implications of science and technology. Who will govern the Internet, and under what rules? Which new reproductive technologies will be developed and which declared illegal? How do we balance economic growth and the needs of ecological systems? How can we map a knowledge economy to plan investments in new technology? Public Policy is the process of defining, debating, and deciding issues like these. At Georgia Tech, our study of public policy centers on just such issues, that is policy issues concerning science, technology and the environment. This distinguishes the School from many other policy programs, and enables us to provide our graduates with the specialized knowledge that is increasingly essential for effective policy making in a technical world.
The School of Public Policy offers B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Public Policy as well as undergraduate course work in several social science disciplines whose theories and methods contribute to the systematic study of public policy problems. Our faculty have built national and international reputations in the scholarly study of science, technology and environmental policy. As policy scholars committed to research, we investigate decision processes involving the public interest, in government, business, and civil society, and we involve our students in our research. As policy analysts, we learn through practice, and our students become competent to solve problems in a technological world. There can't be careers any more important.
Both the campus and the community offer a wealth of cultural and sports events and facilities. Georgia Tech is among the top-ranked universities in the United States. As the commercial and technological hub of the southeastern United States, Atlanta is home to state, regional and national headquarters for many private and public organizations, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's regional headquarters and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Georgia Tech School of Public Policy offers four graduate degree programs.
The Master of Science in Public Policy (MSPP) prepares students for professional positions in public policy. The MSPP program accepts both full-time and part-time students. Typically, full-time students complete the MSPP degree in two years.
The Dual Masters Program in Public Policy and City Planning (MSPP/MCP) allows students to combine study in public policy with additional study and qualification in city planning.
The Georgia Tech Doctorate in Public Policy (Ph.D.) prepares students for advanced professional work or academic careers. The Ph.D. emphasizes substantive policy areas related to the School's science and technology focus, include science and technology policy, environmental policy and economic development policy. A period of full-time residence is required in the doctoral program.
The Georgia Tech-Georgia State University Joint Doctorate in Public
Policy (Joint Ph.D.) offers more flexibility for part-time study and
provides additional areas of policy specialization.
Applicants must have a bachelor's degree. Since the program is interdisciplinary, no particular undergraduate field is preferred. Applicants must submit GRE information scores, a personal biography form, a statement of interest, transcripts, and letters of recommendation. Information and application materials can be obtained from:
Georgia Institute of Technology
School of Public Policy
D.M. Smith Building
685 Cherry Street
Atlanta, Georgia 30332-0345
Email address: email@example.com
Web Site: http://www.spp.gatech.edu
Application materials can be obtained by mail from the graduate coordinator or electronically downloaded via the School's web site.
Admissions are done only for the fall semester, since the core curriculum is designed for entering fall students.
Georgia Tech's School of Public Policy emphasizes research and teaching in policy areas that have significant scientific or technological content. The School's programs balance analytical rigor and technical aspects of the curriculum with explicit, systematic treatment of ethical and value dimensions of the consequences of policy choice, and of the methods for analyzing policy alternatives.
The MSPP degree requires 49 semester credit hours of study, including either three hours devoted to producing a professional paper (which can be done on an individual or group basis) or nine hours for a thesis. The core of the MSPP curriculum consists of 9 three-hour courses and a one-hour introductory seminar. The core courses are: Introduction to Public Policy; Ethics, Epistemology, and Public Policy; Fundamentals of Policy Process; Research Design in Policy Science; Applied Policy Methods and Data Analysis; Microeconomics and Policy Analysis; Public Finance and Policy; Public Policy Analysis; and two of the following three courses: Organization Theory; Public Management; and Policy Implementation and Administration. MSPP students also pursue one or more concentrations. A concentration consists of at least three 3-credit courses, of which at least one is the School of Public Policy. Students can pursue concentrations in science and technology policy, environmental policy, information and communications policy, or urban and regional economic development. Or, students can pursue an individualized concentration. A professional internship is normally required.
The Ph.D. in Public Policy prepares students for advanced professional work or for academic careers. The doctorate degree is based on a core curriculum that stresses intellectual and methodological rigor, using the theories and applications of quantitative analysis; political, economic, and organizational analysis; research design and execution. This core is supplemented with in-depth study of particular substantive areas of public policy. The program focuses on just three substantive specialties, each a particular strength of the School, and each closely related to Georgia Tech's focus on technology-intensive research and education. These focal areas include science and technology policy, environmental policy and economic development policy.
Upon admission, each student files a plan of study with their advisor and the School of Public Policy Graduate Committee. This plan includes a proposal for the student's major and minor areas of concentration. The curriculum is flexible enough to accommodate the interests of students in many policy areas. However, students generally focus on one or more of the following as a major area of concentration: environmental policy, science and technology policy, urban and regional economic development, information technology and communications policy, or an individualized program of study. Each concentration has a capstone seminar at the Ph.D. level that majors are required to complete. The minor concentration is an area of study that is distinct from the major and taken with different professors. However, in most instances the major will consist of four classes and the minor will consist of three classes.
The current student body of about 50 is comprised of approximately two-thirds full-time and one-third part-time students. Most part-time students are mid-career professionals. The School offers small class sizes and close interaction with faculty, ensuring that students have flexibility in their choice of course work and area of policy concentration.
The 24 faculty members hold doctoral degrees in a wide variety of fields including engineering, engineering psychology, planning, political science, economics, philosophy, and earth sciences. The School is a national leader in research on technology policy, particularly technology transfer, R&D evaluation, innovation, and federal laboratory policy. Other fields of study include environmental policy, environment ethics, policy formulation and evaluation, risk assessment, and public organization theory and design.
Approximately 90 percent of recent master's graduates are in full-time positions with a variety of employers including the federal, state or local government, private sector firms, non-for-profit organizations, and research organizations.
Roughly 10 percent of master's graduates have gone on to further academic studies. The unique features of the M.S. in public policy at Tech also makes the degree a natural springboard to doctoral study in interdisciplinary fields such as urban and environmental policy, science and technology policy, telecommunications and information policy, and management of technology, and policy evaluation and management.
Ph. D- Fellowships and assistantships are available to qualified students. It is School policy that Ph.D. students not be admitted unless an individual faculty member makes a commitment of mentoring and financial support. Assistantships include eligibility to waive out-of-state tuition. Students with graduate research assistantships cannot be employed elsewhere without the express permission of the School.
During the 1999-2000 academic year, full-time tuition and fees at Georgia Tech is $1,795 (in-state) and $6,139 (non-resident); part-time tuition is $149 (in-state) and $511 (non-resident) per credit hour. Currently, most full-time students receive graduate research assistantships, usually associated with a research project with School faculty. Assistants cover tuition, matriculation fees, and provide a stipend of $3,750 per semester, $4,500 per semester for Ph.D. students.